Cases of meningococcal infections are surging in US, CDC issues alert to doctors; Check symptoms

The Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health alert informing healthcare professionals of an increase in bacterial infections caused by a strain of meningococcal illness that is spreading in the United States.

Neisseria meningitidis is the bacteria that causes meningococcal infections. According to the CDC, this condition can cause serious symptoms, including death, as well as a deadly infection known as meningitis in the brain, spinal cord and bloodstream.

According to the CDC reports, 140 cases of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y were reported in 2024. Unlike normal meningitis, which mostly affects newborns and young adults, this strain affects people aged 30 to 60. Black and African Americans, as well as people who have HIV, are more likely to get this kind of meningitis.

What are the prevention and types of meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicemia, or meningococcemia, which is a bloodstream infection, are the two types of infections that can arise from meningococcal disease, according to the CDC.

What are the symptoms of meningococcal disease?

  •  Fever
  • – Headache
  • – Stiff neck
  • – Nausea
  • – Vomiting
  • – Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • – Altered mental status

What are the meningococcal bloodstream infection symptoms?

  •  Cold hands and feet
  • – Diarrhea
  • – Fever and chills
  • – Fatigue
  • – Rapid breathing
  • – Severe aches and pains
  • – Vomiting